The army of the slow-moving undead are returning to the local mall, and photojournalist Frank West is on hand to dispatch them, one swing of his aluminum bat (or whatever other weapon he has handy) at a time. The Wii port of Dead Rising, subtitled Chop Til You Drop, is on its way from Capcom, and we had a chance to take the brief demo for a spin during Nintendo's fall press summit last week.
The timed demo let us take control of Frank while he unloaded his aggression on a food court full of shambling zombies, using every weapon at his disposal. Highlights included the aforementioned bat, a cheap-looking lightsaber knockoff, and a mall bench, which Frank could pick up and swing with about as much ferocity as you imagine you could swing a big, awkward wooden bench with.
You use the weapons in Chop Til You Drop with the Wii Remote by pressing the A button or flailing around with the Remote itself. Either approach works pretty well, and the zombies go down in typical comical fashion. Of course, Frank has also has access to firearms when he really wants to get down with the zombie murdering--it looks like he'll be able to haul four guns at once. We had access to a simple handgun and a shotgun that you aim with the Wii Remote and fire with the B button. One of the best tricks in the game was to temporarily stun a zombie with a well-placed pistol shot to the face, then run over, arm your bat, and build up power by shaking the Wii Remote quickly before letting loose with a David Ortiz-like shot to the dazed zombie's grill.
Producers told us that Chop Til You Drop will be a port of the original game for the Xbox 360, and the mall will be the same size as the original game's. As for original content designed specifically for the Wii, all we saw were two new enemy types--a flying zombie parrot that would dive-bomb Frank's head periodically, and an equally ridiculous zombie poodle that didn't know the meaning of the word "heel" (but did understand the shotgun blast to the face).
After the timed demo in the mall, we were taken to part two, a one-on-one showdown with an insane clown who had chainsaws instead of hands and liked to blow up balloons...deadly balloons. The fight took place on a rooftop and there were a slew of weapons on hand to take him down with. This was an agile insane clown, mind you, and he rarely stood stil long enough for us to plug him full of lead, so a more personal touch was needed in the form of the kind of baseball-bat beating that we've all wanted to administer to one clown or another over the years.
It was an admittedly short amount of time with Chop Til You Drop, but Capcom seems to be doing the best it can with the Wii's limited power in making a faithful rendition of the original game. It's not going to have as many weapons and certainly doesn't look nearly as nice as the 360 game, but those who missed out on the original will have their chance when the game arrives some time next year. Look for more on Chop Til You Drop from the 2008 Tokyo Game Show next week.